Cross Creek High seniors tell what’s next after graduation

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:40 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A familiar sound is echoing across the country as the class of 2023 takes those first important steps into their future.

Graduation season is here and as seniors walk across the stage to get their diplomas or degrees, one question is left- what’s next?

We stopped by Cross Creek High School’s graduation ceremony at the James Brown Arena to speak with a few seniors.

These graduates have big goals. Most importantly- plans to achieve them.

While a number of Wednesday’s graduates were headed to trade school and some joining our armed forces, we spoke with two who told us college is their next step.

“I’m nervous too. It’s a big day. A big day. I’m really excited,” said Markell Pyatt, a graduating senior.

Candice Rogers, Cross Creek High School valedictorian, said: “I feel happy. Kinda nervous, but still happy.”

As they walk across the stage, they’re walking into college and then to careers in need.

“I want to become a psychiatrist,” said Rogers.

For Rogers, behavioral health is in her future.

And the numbers predict shortages in half of the behavioral health professions by 2035, including adult and child psychiatrists.

It’s a gap Rogers is willing to help fill.

“I had a whole bunch of death in my family the past few years. I wanted to be able to help people with mental health issues in order to combat that,” said Rogers.

But for Pyatt, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects growth for his career choice with an employment increase of nearly 10,000 jobs.

Pyatt said: “I plan to attend Kennesaw State University for this engineering program. So, I’m planning to be an electrical engineer.”

For both graduates, it’s been a long journey leading up to this moment.

Rogers said: “I learned that I needed to study a lot more in order to be able to take on what I am now- valedictorian.”

Pyatt said: “12 years all comes down to this day.”

On Wednesday, the room was full of proud families with so much energy for the graduates.

Graduations for both Richmond County and Columbia County continue into thursday and Friday..

News 12 wants to say congratulations to all of the 2023 graduates and good luck with all of your future endeavors.